Home » Kenyan tycoon Narendra Raval backs Finance Act to boost local manufacturing

Kenyan tycoon Narendra Raval backs Finance Act to boost local manufacturing

by Omokolade Ajayi
Narendra Raval

Kenyan businessman and multimillionaire industrialist Narendra Raval, the driving force behind Devki Steel Mills Ltd., has publicly thrown his support behind the Finance Act of 2023, asserting that the Act’s provisions hold the potential to strengthen the domestic manufacturing sector.

The 2023 Finance Act has sparked strong arguments because it combines tax rules that protect specific industries while imposing hefty financial obligations on salaried workers and consumers of petroleum products.

Raval’s pivotal involvement in this discourse stems from his attainment of “interested party” status within the ongoing litigation surrounding the Act.

This strategic move secured approval from esteemed judges, including David Majanja, Christine Meoli, and Lawrence Mugambi.

In his court-affirmed affidavit, Raval argued: “As a local manufacturer, the applicant (Devki) holds a direct personal stake in this matter. Proceeding without the applicant’s engagement could result in irreparable harm and prejudice.”

Of particular focus for Raval is Section 70 of the Act, which outlines the Export and Investment Promotion Levy applied to all imported goods.

Raval contends that this provision will furnish local manufacturers with advantages, catalyzing domestic production while counteracting an annual deficit exceeding Ksh800 million ($5.6 million) caused by steel product imports.

Raval underscored the detrimental impact of substandard, inexpensive steel imports on the local manufacturing landscape. His concerns come as his manufacturing conglomerate, Devki Group, established in 1986 as a small-scale steel processing venture, has blossomed into a leading manufacturer of steel and building materials across East and Central Africa.

Devki Steel Mills in Samburu, Kwale County, is intensifying production to meet the burgeoning demand for steel products, particularly from Tanzania and Uganda. The company aims to achieve full operating capacity within three months to cater to these neighboring markets.

Raval’s commitment to local manufacturing is further evidenced by Devki Group’s adoption of technology that converts kiln heat into electricity, ensuring cost-effective steel production. By utilizing locally sourced iron ore and generating its own power, the group maintains its position as the region’s first virgin steel production plant, offering quality solutions without inflating costs.

In a significant legal triumph this year, Raval successfully defended against prominent cement manufacturers contesting the Act’s levy on imported clinker, steel, and paper products. The Finance and National Planning Committee upheld the levy, emphasizing the Act’s role in supporting local manufacturing, job creation, and export growth.

As the Finance Act of 2023 continues to spark intense debates, Raval’s endorsement underscores the potential for the legislation to revitalize Kenya’s manufacturing landscape, positioning the country for economic growth and self-sustainability.

You may also like


The world’s premier source of news on Africa’s billionaires and UHNWIs.


Get the daily email to stay informed about African billionaires and UHNWIs. Get informed and entertained, for free.

Latest News

@2024 – Billionaires.Africa. All Rights Reserved.